Introduction to the United States
In 2003 the process of Laparoscopic Artificial Insemination was carried out for the first time for the Gotland sheep in the USA. Interest has been quick as breeders discover the beautiful, lustrous fleece and the ease of care of a medium sized sheep.
Gotlands Find A Niche
As well as producing furskins and beautiful fleeces for spinning or felting, Gotlands are easy to lamb, prolific, milky and very motherly. Their lambs are active and fast growing form birth. These qualities, together with their hardy and adaptive nature, also make the Gotland half-bred ewe suitable for extensive/rough grazing commercial systems.
Fine-boned and of medium size. Horn less black head sometimes with white markings and free from wool. Bold eyes, alert medium sized ears. Small neat muzzle with even jaw and teeth set squarely on the pad. Slender neck and shoulders set smoothly into a level back with generous length, good depth and reasonable breadth of body. Slender black legs well spaced and upright. Short hair tipped tail. Dense, long, lustrous grey fleece, occasionally black or white. Clearly defined even curl and staple, soft to the touch. Calm, friendly disposition.
A bright, active and friendly sheep full of curiosity. Ewes generally weigh from 120 to 155. Rams are heavier weighing in at 165 to 190. Lambs are born with a lush black birth coat and are very active and quick to suckle. They make rapid summer growth: 30 to 50kg at 6 to 7 months old dependent on litter size.
In many flocks the main shearing is in early spring with a second cut in autumn. Gotlands may be shorn bare or with a short close curled fleece for any early season show. Where there is no dedicated Gotland class, the AGSS recommends that it is preferable to enter Gotlands in "Long Wool" or "Colored" classes rather than "Primitive" classes.
The AGSS recommends members record/register breeding sheep before sale and advises potential buyers not to buy un-recorded/registered sheep.
Animals meeting the following criteria may be recorded/registered:
Recorded - Any animal of at least 50% Gotland Blood
Registered - Ewes of 75% Gotland Blood and Rams of 87% Gotland Blood